All is not as it seems as a daring undercover agent and an unconventional southern belle mix business with pleasure in this classic story of romance and suspense from New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper.
Kelsey has come to the idyllic southern town of Pinnacle to investigate a shady company called Meditron, which has a ruthless way of getting what it wants--or so claims the desperate caller who contacts the FBI. The locals won't talk about Meditron. But Kelsey is an expert interrogator, prepared to use his seductive charms to his every advantage. He just hadn't counted on falling for the beautiful witness at the center of his investigation.
Elizabeth Conner is too proud to ask for any sort of assistance. She never needed help raising her three willful younger sisters. But now her family is in serious trouble, and Elizabeth's stubborn independence is a deadly liability. And then Kelsey sweeps her up--and into his arms--like a force of nature, promising to protect Elizabeth and her sisters from a relentless enemy. Elizabeth never imagined letting any man get too close, let alone one who can't even disclose his full name. But daring to trust this tempting stranger is a danger she must embrace.
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April 24, 2012
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Excerpt from Unmasking Kelsey by Kay Hooper
"Move it or lose it, buddy!"
If Kelsey had obeyed his common sense, he would have moved it. However, as the command woke him up quite abruptly from a sound, exhausted sleep, and as he was feeling a bit irascible because of it, he chose to force the issue. So, in his best Bogart imitation, he growled, "Scram!"
The wisdom of that response was instantly in doubt when he felt the cold hardness of a gun barrel against his neck.
In a matter-of-fact voice that was musical and yet held all the softness of an angry drill sergeant's, the woman said, "Any last words? A cigarette and a blindfold, maybe?"
Sitting very still, Kelsey chose to respond to the steely voice rather than the flippant words. "Uh-- can we back up a little? I don't know who you are, but--"
"That makes us even, doesn't it? All I know is that this piece of junk is parked on my land and you're in it. I get jumpy when strangers park on my land."
Kelsey wanted badly to turn his head and look at the woman, but didn't dare. "Look, I'm harm- less," he insisted in his most bland and unthreatening voice. "I drove all night and I was tired, so I just pulled off the road to sleep. I didn't know this was private land."
"Now you do. Move it out."
"Did anybody ever tell you that you have a wonderfully light conversational touch?"
"I said beat it!"
She had her hand through the window in back, he realized, so opening his door suddenly wouldn't throw off her balance. Then he caught a sudden glimpse of her hand in the rearview mirror, and he almost laughed. Instead, he reached over his shoulder abruptly and took her "gun" away from her. It was an empty soft drink bottle, and he stared at it in disgust.
Of all the childish tricks to be taken in by! Muttering to himself, Kelsey tossed the bottle
through the window, then opened his door and got out of the car. He fully intended to pour his wrath all over her, but when he turned and got his first look at his attacker, wrath was the last thing on his mind.
She stood confronting him, stiff and angry, magnificent green eyes blazing with temper. Her incredibly pale silver hair was piled atop her head in what he vaguely recognized as a chignon, with tendrils escaping to frame her face. And Kelsey had never seen such a stunningly beautiful woman in all his life.
No one--man or woman--would ever call her merely "pretty." She had the rarest kind of beauty, the beauty of bone structure and coloring that would remain with her all the days of her life. Her eyes were large and almond-shaped, fringed with long dark lashes, and their color was so vivid a green, they were almost iridescent. Her every feature was finely sculpted, and each blended so that her face was quite simply perfect.
"Close your mouth!" she snapped.
He did, then opened it again to laugh. "Damn, but you're lovely!" he said. And he was intrigued to note that not even a scowl could make her face less than beautiful.
She put her hands on her hips, continuing to glare. "Am I going to have to call the cops to get you off my land?" she demanded.